Why is My Hijab, Your Problem?

Sep 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Media Watch, Pakistan, Religion, Social, World

I am a woman, not a sexualized commodity; I am a human being just like you are.

I am a Hijabi and Hijab is my identity and my ideology.

I wasn’t a Hijabi by birth, nor did it come from an oppressing ‘Mullah’ father or brother. Oh no! No one can force me to do something which I do not want to do. It only came when I came to explore the message of God which I had been reading since childhood in Arabic and never knew what it meant as it’s not my first language. It started to make sense when I decoded it into a language which I could understand; Thanks to those scholars who made it a mission of their lives to transliterate the word of God for our convenience.

The importance of observing hijab for me gradually became connected to my belief in God and the question I asked myself often.

“I believe in God and His word, I love the Prophet (SAW) and for me the characters and dress code of Aisha and Fatima (Peace be upon them) are role models, then how come whenever I see a Hijabi,  I relate it to backwardness.”

All these claims don’t fit into one frame and there began the war of ideas in me:

“You tell me Hijab is backward and you still are a proud non-apologetic Muslim, it can’t be true!”

It’s a part of my personality just like a Jewish kippah and Christian and jewish ‘hijabs’, my message of peace that I wear with pride. It’s about letting the world know, not to mess around with me as I (try to) keep my chastity and obey my Lord.

I am no slave of the corporate capitalistic industry which is bent upon publishing a naked woman to sell everything from a cigarette to a racing car.

It gives me liberation; freedom from being judged on a scale of inches, skin colour and figure details. I am free from the shackles of man, eyes of the evil world who evaluate women according to the length of her skirt and depth of her neckline; intelligence and character being secondary. (Ask a competent man who was rejected by a multimedia company in an interview and his beautiful and sexy but dumb competitor got the job).

With this piece of cloth on my head, I feel empowered as a woman. But a section of our society seems to have a problem with it. Some self-proclaimed Pakistani liberals labelled Hijab as a “dinner table napkin “or “solution of a bad hair day”.What is the world scared of, I wonder?


If you think my hijab tapered my IQ and threw me into the desert of Arabia some 1400 years behind, I seriously doubt yours. Remember how the prehistoric man lived?

What was the killer of Marwah Al Sherbini scared of? Was this 32-year old, three month pregnant pharmacist, a loving wife and a mother of a two year old, a threat to the world? Oh, mind you she was called a whore, a terrorist and stabbed 18 times in the German court and killed.

Was Shaima Alawadi a hazard? The loving mother killed and turned into a pool of blood in her house in America with a note next to her saying: “Go back to your country, you terrorist.”, was she a terrorist? No; her killers were! Racists and myopic terrorists scared of a defenceless woman with a piece of cloth on her head.

Are Hijabis the biggest threat in the French and other European societies that are banning hijab? Think!

Oh you thought I don’t have a choice? No! I have one and hijab is my choice just as obeying Allah and disobeying Him in rebellion is my birth right due to being a human being and I choose the former.

And in case you didn’t notice, some very successful women in the West are turning to Islam and opting for covering their bodies with modesty and have found peace.

I quote Yvonne Ridley, a journalist who reverted to Islam after she explored the Quran as a promise she made to Taliban, her captors in Afghanistan.

‘My dress tells you that I am a Muslim and that I expect to be treated respectfully, much as a Wall Street banker would say that a business suit defines him as an executive to be taken seriously. And, especially among converts to the faith like me, the attention of men who confront women with inappropriate, leering behaviour is not tolerable.’

Think rationally and decide! Why is my Hijab, a problem for the world?

Dr. Aisha Aijaz

About the author

Dr. Aisha Aijaz is a medical doctor, MA History from QMUL UK - a traveller, photographer and a dreamer who longs for a kind and tolerant world. She loves Urdu poetry and chai.

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  1. Wounder full…. جو جس کی مشابہت اخیار کرے گا اسکا حشر کل اسکے ساتھ ہی ہوگا …

  2. I quote Yvonne Ridley, a journalist who reverted to Islam after she explored the Quran as a promise she made to Taliban, her captors in Afghanistan.

    ‘My dress tells you that I am a Muslim and that I expect to be treated respectfully, much as a Wall Street banker would say that a business suit defines him as an executive to be taken seriously. And, especially among converts to the faith like me, the attention of men who confront women with inappropriate, leering behaviour is not tolerable.’


  3. Amazing article, very well written. Came from ur heart and went straight to mine! JazakAlkah

  4. A critical article!

  5. Masha-Allah Once again very beautifully written master piece. West must understand that they don’t decide how do others dress. If nudity is their choice let it be, we don’t bother you, so should you mind your own business.

  6. I respect your right to wear a hijab and agree that it is your choice if you want to do it to express your devotion to Allah.

    However, there are many countries where covering up is not a choice (Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, etc.)

    I want to live in a world where women do not have to cover themselves up in order to prevent men looking at them in a disrespectful way. In fact, if you go to a nudist beach, people are not sexually titillated by the other naked bodies on display. It’s concealment and revealment that is sexy, not nakedness.

    I don’t know the story of Yvonne Rdiley, but from the brief description you give there, it rather sounds as if she is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. (Please note that that is a critique of her particular story as you have described it, NOT of any other converts to Islam.)

  7. A brilliant and truthful piece Allah has made laws in accordance to human nature Hijab is both for men and women in accordance to their distinct gender,physique and psyche. Men are physically stronger and women are physically more attractive that is why Allah has commanded them cover themselves and wear modest clothing so that they are known and not molested. western civilization with shallow concept of liberalism has negated natural requirements of modesty and censorship because of that sexual violence in the west against women is much more prevalent and has become a norm in the west. on the other side capitalist empire which is created by men has given woman the delusion of empowerment and liberation but in reality has made woman’s body a commercial product for which man’s desires are the client. Woman are blessed with honour by Allah they are precious and precious things are suppose to be covered .JazaKallah

  8. great effort sister, really nice. ALLAH bless you.

  9. “If you think my hijab tapered my IQ and threw me into the desert of Arabia some 1400 years behind, I seriously doubt yours. Remember how the prehistoric man lived?”

    Another amazing piece. Mashallah.

  10. bada ajeeb hai ki hijab ke upar ek ladki ne likha hai aur ladkiya is par coment nahi kar rahi hai.ladke ise like kar rahe hai.

  11. Nicely written sister but try not to generalize(at least I got such impression) two incident.Any amount of condemning of those acts is not enough but we should avoid generalizing.Rest here in west what ever number of prople who are against the hijab are against Niqaab(hiding face) not hijab(covering head).
    Jazakumallah khair 🙂

  12. MashAllah, atleast some one tried to defend our religious dress. This article should come in all the leading newspapers.

  13. Two things: firstly, you claim empowerment based on not being judged for your looks or sexuaity. However, could it not be said that this is the issue if the MEN who impose these standards upon you? Why should YOU have to adapt to suit their weak and lustful perspectives (this is the same argument I used when Pakistan erupted over the Danish cartoons- you empower that which causes you to adapt to THEIR outside influences)

    Secondly, it is your right to turn towards or against Allah. Agreed. But do I have the right to express my opinion about the Prophet? Or, really, would your rejection (especially if made public) come without repercussions?

    I’m sorry. Wear your hijab. Wear it and feel proud of your history and culture. But don’t try and tell me you are liberated by it.

  14. mashaALLAH very nice article. HIJAAB and for more appropriate way we can say covering ourselves is all about obey the command of ALLAH SWT ,,it is for pleasing ALLAH SW Tonly , because i believe if we obey one hukum of ALLAH it is actually the step of obeying another hukum of ALLAH SWT……

  15. Beautiful article on the international HIJAB day.

  16. Thank you very much for this very inspiring article….i am a swissborn pakistani and i raised in this society…i know how fallen this society is, in every corner here are shaitan waitin…it’s very difficult to leave here….the problem is that the media here made propaganda againt us….they show only the wrong thing…but it is our fault the we let the cancer spread…that things like stoning woman or other misbehaving, prosecution of ahmady and other religions are reality in pakistan,iraq etc…..i pray evryday please Allah make the islam so strong like 1001 years ago, please Allah save Islam but for that must be the islamic world a ummah…like that ummah we were in the tiem of the holy prophet saw…WE MUST BE ONE AND PRESENT THE WORLD THE REAL ISLAM…THE ISLAM OF THE NABI-UL-RASUL SAW

  17. Tanx sis aisha

  18. excellent article! hijab discussion is most lame debate i have seen & heard in west. very foundation of western society is based on the will of people to be free & able to do what they feel like doing.

    isn’t this hypocrisy that a woman can bare her skin but but can’t cover her head? why this is a one way traffic lane?

  19. JAzak Allah For nice and informative discussion. good reply to liberals

  20. Awesome Article! May ALLAH bless you . 🙂

  21. You are right. Some ignorants will definitely criticize it out of no reason. Let them do it. We are proud of you.

  22. Simply Great and Commendable………..I really wish that all women think in the same manner…..

  23. Good article. It is a great reply to the campaigns as found even in pakistani dailies such as the The Express Tribune.

  24. I am an American Christian and I read this article thoughtfully at the recommendation of my Granddaughter who is now Muslim and lives in Egypt. We communicate back and forth and share our thoughts on our religions. our faiths. I appreciate this article, because it gives me a new perspective on the hijab. I’ve never felt any disrespect toward Muslim dress or Muslims…..I’ll be glad when those who choose to hate will get over themselves and see others who are different that them as valued members and what I believe to be God/Allah’s creation. Thank you for this informative heart felt article.

  25. very well written, agreed with Zia above(ist Comment) whoever wishes to emulate in love and want to be with them would be on the day of Judgment, may you and all the sisters who do wear the Hijab or cover their heads in reverence and as a wish to emulate the House of the Prophet SAW, get the just reward, the world would keep on saying things, whether you go on the extreme, you can never keep everyone happy. Its what you desire and what is best for you, nobody should argue or raise issues, its freedom of choice, but unfortunately in France, Germany and Scandinavia and even in many of our so called Muslim countries its not allowed, what a shame. Even Turkish PM’s wife was not allowed to come to his swearing in ceremony as the secular constitution there and the Army didnt want it, but thankfully its no longer the case! We need to fight a battle outside and our home fronts too. Many husbands and even parents when they have got nothing to do with their married daughters despise this and discourage it. Its the new generation which is gonna change it IA and the more openness

  26. Thanks all. All praise is due to Allah (SWT). Every comment above is precious for me, but sis Julia Bunting, yours has made my day. May Allah guide us all towards the right path that leads to peace in this world and success in the Hereafter and His pleasure in both worlds. Aameen. Much love and respect for all of you.

  27. with extremely bold contents… you did wonderful job Aisha… its a answer in the language of opponents… thumbs up… and many many congratulations for being quoted by renown scholars, writers and leaders…:-)

  28. “As the investigation, in which the local police were assisted by the FBI, developed, records were accidentally released to the press which indicated that Shaima Alawadi was thinking of filing for divorce and moving. This and other family issues (including her daughter’s refusal to proceed with an arranged marriage) led the police to consider the possibility that the murder was not a hate crime.”


  29. Asalam Alikum Sister!
    Congratulations on such a nice and beneficial effort, its a kind of Jihad against devil minds. Following the path of Allah makes u stronger and motivate u to learn and practice good, and i believe u r on the right path. Wish u more blessings of Allah.

  30. Great article! Can anyone tell me how a hijab is hindering progress and being naked is promoting liberation and progress

  31. “I believe in God and His word, I love the Prophet (SAW) and for me the characters and dress code of Aisha and Fatima (Peace be upon them) are role models, then how come whenever I see a Hijabi, I relate it to backwardness.”
    Love it..

  32. I always wonder, why women do not get that much liberty and power to live like men in Asia. This is sad and this is indeed a shame for people (men) of Pakistan. Doesn’t matter how liberal or understanding this country become, the men really need to start respecting the females around.

  33. assalammu’alaikum, nice article ukhti…..keep istiqomah….Insya Allah.

  34. Very well written. I strongly condemn those who think women should not wear a hijab. Um, excuse me, it is not your choice, nor your problem. But the same has to go for those who do not choose to wear it. Religion is one’s own interpretation of it, and everyone should respect the other’s. However, I do know many friends whose parents or brothers force hijab on them, and that is really sad. As sad as people telling you to take it off when you have worn it by your own choice. LET PEOPLE DO WHAT THEY WANT, as long as they’re not hurting others.

  35. what an awsome article ..! Masha’Allah ! Keep up the good work !
    its jihad bin Qalam ! 🙂

  36. Masha’allah awesome article sister, keep it up! your article strengthens me! 🙂

  37. Beautiful sharing Aisha…really love this article…JazakAllah!

  38. mashallah ….!!!! owsummm writngzzz ….!!!!

  39. The writer’s main theme is that of freedom of choice, which I absolutely agree with obviously. However, her premise that the hijab is a choice ignores reality. Yes, she may have had a choice in the matter, but she is the exception, not the rule.
    All you need to do to see the truth of this is to travel to Pakistan, and head to a village. Every village woman will be covered in at least a hijab, if not a face veil as well. Those women are not choosing to wear the hijab, they’ve been compelled by societal and cultural pressure.
    So no, I disagree with the premise that the hijab is a choice. There are millions of muslim women who (myself included) wear a hijab because of social/cultural/family pressure/fear of going to hell if they don’t. I don’t call that a choice, I call that emotional compulsion.

  40. well brother “pitt” i agree with your statement that muslims donot allow others to give their statement about muslim’s prophet. but the thing is we muslims actually donot allow to give your opinion with a disrespectful way .
    If one wanted to argue but with respect he is most welcome other wise until unless if he is not cleared with his question how he can he come to the conclusion what is right and what is wrong.
    I give u an example if some one say friend your father i consider him wrong because this but if someone says hey your father is a piss drinker i saw him saying bullshit in the street he is such a bloody liar and then he make a picture of my father with two prostitutes and show all of my mates in the university (i mean in public) then what do u think am i supposed to do, to tolerate or what could be my natural response to him apply it on urself and try to understand this is the way people actually critcize about our prophet there aim is not actually to know the truth their aim is to taunt and tease the muslims because of hatred.

    i can not understand why people are running after this word i agree most of muslim parents do not allow their daughters to take off the hijab why? and is it right ? yes it is right. Well if a person is in army and says that o come on i donot want to wear the uniform i feel uncomfortable what do u want me either to fight or to wear the uniform why i can not fight without uniform what the army will do with him force him to wear the uniform or to give him the freedom not to wear the uniform he is not hurting any one. I want to ask if he will not wear the uniform how many of more soldiers will stop wearing what do u think what will happen to the displine of army.once u have entered the religion or the circle u r suppose to follow the rules and regulation of that religion if u donot want to go out of that religion enjoy ur life at one side ur saying that i am muslim on the other o no i can no do this. Then i would like to say u r not a believer u r a diplomatic person. what I will do I will politely tell my daughter when she is little not enough to understand the logic to take hijab. I Will tell her THIS IS OUR IMAAN WE HAVE TO DO IT. DO U THINK THAT GOD EXIST,IF YES THEN WE HAVE TO FOLLOW HIS COMMANDS but when she became adult definately she will ask me father u were telling me GOD exist where is he how could i find him then i will prove her that look at the signs look at the quran. IF MY DAUGHTER SAY TO ME I WANT TO GO THAT JUNGLE WHERE I KNOW SHE COULD BE RAPED WILL I ALLOW HER TO GO AND IF SHE INSIST ME NO I WANT TO GO WILL I NOT HIT HER TO STOP HER OR AM I NOT SUPPOSE TO FORCE HER NOT GO WHERE IS THE FREEDOM OF THOUGHT NOW. The problem with our people is that when our kids asks us to prove logically why u were punishing us not to take the hijab when i havent had the sense.we get mad on them because we can not prove to them due to lack of knowledge.

  42. Hey Pitt, She’s not telling you she’s liberated or the opposite. You, my friend, are telling her that and millions of others like her that they are being regressive. Its only because of your inability to understand and digest the fact that women are not a commodity. They are not meant for your blue films and not meant for selling products, through nudity and vulgarity. She has a clear view of things. YOU need to put your distorted ideas straight. Think again, you and Maddie.

  43. jazakillah khairan kaseera… You literally spoke my heart out! May Allaah (swt) love you ukhtee… 🙂

  44. Great!

    Allahu Akbr!

    May allah reward you.

  45. Mashallah aisha very well done! you as a true muslim girl did it very well… Allah will give you ‘Ajar’. Every girl should have taken a lesson from you. Some of muslim girls really feel to be changed but because of this cruel society they are hesitant to do this. May Allah do all girls to b changed as a true muslim Ameen sum Ameen!!! JAZAKALLAH

  46. An amazing read. Made my day. JazakAllah Kaseera. May Allah bring us all to the right path and may He remove all sorts of doubts that we muslims have regarding our faith and religion. The thing is, that the West and Media plus our moderate thinking have complicated Islam, which is not the reality. It is a way of life which has been catered to our ease by The Almighty. He says in Al Baqarah, ‘And enter into Islam completely….’ which means once you’re a muslim, it is incumbent on you to abide by all the laws which Allah has devised for us. There is no if/but allowed. No self interpretation allowed. None at all. Islam means to submit, to give in. Submit to Allah absolutely. To believe that you’re nobody and whatever you have achieved is because of Allah alone. No other diety or being is capable of providing you with the countless blessings that have been bestowed upon you. No being can fulfill any single one of your needs. And so hijaab is compulsory. It is a part of the act of submission. It is not a choice, rather it is an obligation. And if you call yourself a muslim, which means someone who is submitting his self to Allah, completely and absolutely, in all spheres of life, then I see no point in any muslim not taking a hijaab or raising points against wearing hijaab. If you have said La Illaha Il LAllah, then you’ve given every other thing in the world a backseat, be it your nafs, your self. Because in front of Allah, you (and yourself) are NOTHING.

  47. when you live in Europe and you’re Muslim woman and wearing Hidjab, every day you go out ,
    you have to explain to them that it’s your choice and nobody is forcing you. in the end you will be tired trying to convince them, the best is be proud of what you are? that’s what i do

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